Week-By-Week Notes On 2007 Schedule


Now that it's July, the 2007 regular season is officially just two months away (OK, two months and one week until the Sept. 9 opener against Philadelphia, but who's counting).

With the team coming off a four-game winning streak to conclude 2006, a certain quarterback returning for his 16th season as the starter, and a roster loaded with young, improving talent, there's plenty to look forward to in 2007. Here's a week-by-week glance at some notes, tidbits and storylines to pay attention to as the upcoming season approaches.

Sunday, Sept. 9, vs. Philadelphia

Eagles head coach Andy Reid has been the most successful of the former Packers assistant coaches who have piloted another team against Green Bay. Including playoffs, Reid (one of Brett Favre's former quarterback coaches) is 5-1 with a five-game winning streak that began with a 17-14 win on a rainy Monday night in 2003. That was the last time the Eagles came to Lambeau Field, and Donovan McNabb beat the Packers with a touchdown pass with 27 seconds left.

Sunday, Sept. 16, at New York Giants

When the Packers hit the road for the first time in 2007, they'll look to build on a solid 5-3 road record in Head Coach Mike McCarthy's first season. That was the most road wins ever for a Packers head coach in his first season leading the team. The Packers haven't visited the Meadowlands since 2001, when Michael Strahan broke the NFL's single-season sack record with a takedown of Favre in the regular-season finale.

Sunday, Sept. 23, vs. San Diego

The Chargers' first visit to Lambeau in 11 years will allow Packers fans to get their first in-person look at reigning league MVP LaDainian Tomlinson, who broke former Packers great Paul Hornung's single-season scoring record last season, a mark that had stood for 46 years. The game also will feature the top two sack artists from 2006, San Diego's Shawne Merriman (17 sacks) and Green Bay's Aaron Kampman (15 1/2), who led their respective conferences.

Sunday, Sept. 30, at Minnesota

This could be when Favre has his first legitimate shot to break Dan Marino's all-time record for touchdown passes. He trails by six (420 to 414) coming into the season, and Favre has posted between four and six TD passes through the season's first three weeks in each of the last four years. Also, keep an eye on Donald Driver. His last three performances at the Metrodome have produced 162, 114 and 191 receiving yards, with totals of 25 catches and three TDs. Facing an NFC North opponent for the first time in 2007, the Packers will put their five-game division winning streak on the line.

Sunday, Oct. 7, vs. Chicago

The Packers ended 2006 with a 26-7 whipping of the Bears in prime time on NBC, and even though Chicago had clinched the NFC's No. 1 seed by then, you can bet the Bears remember it and won't want a repeat of that in prime time on NBC again. Meanwhile, the Packers don't want to re-live the 26-0 loss to Chicago at Lambeau Field to open 2006, the Bears' third straight win in Green Bay, all with Lovie Smith as head coach and Rex Grossman at quarterback.

Sunday, Oct. 14, vs. Washington

Packers fans normally don't have to worry about Favre's health, but it may be worthwhile to knock on a piece of wood before kickoff. The last time the Redskins visited Lambeau Field, Favre was knocked out of the game with a knee injury on a LaVar Arrington sack back in 2002. Strangely enough, that game also came in mid-October (Oct. 20) and also preceded the Packers' bye week, which gave Favre enough time to recover and continue his starting streak five years ago. The game will also mark Washington head coach Joe Gibbs' first appearance at Lambeau Field since 1986.

{sportsad300}Monday, Oct. 29, at Denver

The Packers will be looking for their first win ever in Denver. Their 0-5 mark (0-10 counting preseason contests) includes a memorable 17-14 defeat in a Monday night blizzard at Mile High Stadium in 1984, highlights of which are sure to fill ESPN's pre-game show. The Packers have never played at (relatively) new Invesco Field, a seven-year-old venue that post-dates Green Bay's last, and Favre's only, trip to Denver in 1999. This also will mark former Packers receiver Javon Walker's first game against his former team.

Sunday, Nov. 4, at Kansas City

McCarthy takes his team up against the one with whom he broke into the NFL in 1993, and he will be an opposing coach on the Arrowhead Stadium sidelines for the first time. And much like San Diego's last visit to Lambeau Field came in the Packers' Super Bowl season of 1996, Green Bay's last trip to Kansas City was that same season. It was one of only three games the Packers lost that year, part of a five-game losing streak against the Chiefs, with Green Bay's last win coming in Super Bowl I.

Sunday, Nov. 11, vs. Minnesota

The last five Packers-Vikings regular-season games at Lambeau Field have been decided by four, five, three, three and two points, and the last three have come down to the foot of a different kicker - Green Bay's Ryan Longwell in 2004, Minnesota's Paul Edinger in 2005, and Green Bay's Dave Rayner in 2006. Green Bay has outscored Minnesota 111-110 over these five meetings. It's hard to imagine a regular-season series more even.

Sunday, Nov. 18, vs. Carolina

Last season was just the second time in the past 10 years that these two teams didn't meet in the regular season, so they'll renew acquaintances once again. Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme cut his teeth in the NFL as a backup QB for the Saints from 2000-02 when McCarthy was the offensive coordinator in New Orleans. Upon becoming the Panthers'starting quarterback in 2003, Delhomme went 3-1 against McCarthy's Saints over two seasons but hasn't faced McCarthy since 2004.

Thursday, Nov. 22, at Detroit

The Packers will appear on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in four years and the 32nd time overall. A regular holiday matchup in Detroit from 1951-63, Packers-Lions has been featured on Thanksgiving just twice in the last 20 years, splitting games played in 2001 and 2003. Playing for the first time in the season's 10th game, these NFC North Division rivals haven't waited this long for their first meeting in a given year since 1993.

Thursday, Nov. 29, at Dallas

Having made regular trips to Dallas in the 1990s - eight, including playoffs, from 1993 to 1999 - the Packers venture there for the first time since that 1999 trip and look for their first win there since 1989. To Packers fans, Texas Stadium is a hated venue, where playoff runs in three consecutive seasons (1993-95) ended in disappointment. Assuming he remains the Cowboys starting quarterback, Tony Romo, a native of Burlington, Wis., will face his homestate team for the first time.

Sunday, Dec. 9, vs. Oakland

The Packers will take on the Raiders for the first time since Favre's unforgettable 399-yard, four-TD performance on a Monday night in Oakland just one day after his father passed away. And Oakland comes to Lambeau Field for the first time since the 1999 season opener, when a Favre TD pass with 11 seconds left lifted Green Bay to a dramatic 28-24 win in McCarthy's first game as Favre's position coach. Also, standout defensive back Charles Woodson, who came to Green Bay from Oakland as a free agent in 2006, faces his former team for the first time.

Sunday, Dec. 16, at St. Louis

The Packers get a chance to avenge perhaps their most gut-wrenching defeat of 2006, when a red zone fumble was nearly recovered by the Packers, but wasn't, thwarting a potential game-tying field goal or game-winning touchdown on the final drive. Green Bay hasn't won in St. Louis since the 1996 Super Bowl season, dropping a 2001 playoff contest and 2003 regular-season meeting.

Sunday, Dec. 23, at Chicago

The NFL's oldest rivalry is starting to become a holiday tradition, with the two teams playing on Christmas Day in 2005, New Year's Eve in 2006, and now two days before Christmas in 2007. Favre will look to improve on his stellar .857 winning percentage (12-2) at Soldier Field, his best in any stadium, including Lambeau Field.

Sunday, Dec. 30, vs. Detroit

The Packers have won 15 straight regular-season home games over the Lions, who last beat Green Bay on Wisconsin soil on Dec. 15, 1991. But the last three wins in that streak have come by an average of less than five points. The Packers also have won 12 of their last 13 regular-season finales, the league's best record over that span. Green Bay's only loss since 1994 in its final regular-season game came in 2002, at the New York Jets.

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